Donations & Purchases
The State Library will generally collect published and unpublished (original) materials that are:
- Created in Western Australia
- About Western Australia, or
- Created by a Western Australian, or someone with a significant connection to Western Australia
We welcome donations of Western Australian material in six broad categories: archival (which includes paper documents and born-digital documents), photographs, oral histories, film, audio recordings, and books/publications. These collections can contribute to broader understanding of Western Australia’s social history.
If you have something that you would like to donate please complete the collection offers form. For published material, we recommend checking the Library’s first as we usually don’t accept material that’s already part of the collection.
If you have any queries, please email the Collection Liaison Team or call 9427 3111 and ask to talk with a collection liaison staff member, mentioning the type of material you would like to donate.
Current Collecting Drives
Covid-19 Community Collecting: The State Library of WA needs your help to collect Covid-19 related material that reflects the community response and changes to services during the pandemic.
Archival Materials and Photographs
The State Library may accept donations of archival materials and photographs that relate to individuals and families, and organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses.
Types of archival materials collected that relate to individuals and families:
- Correspondence (letters, telegrams, emails etc.)
- Notebooks (e.g. field books, jottings)
- Drawings (sketches, cartoons etc.)
- Legal papers
- Awards (including degrees, certificates etc.)
- Biographical notes
- Plans and maps
- Career documentation (including curriculum vitae, résumés etc.)
- Speeches (talks etc.)
To donate individual and family materials like these, please download and complete the appropriate form:
Types of archival materials collected that relate to organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses:
- Correspondence (letters, emails etc.)
- Meeting minutes
- Annual reports
- Governance papers (e.g. constitutions, policies and procedures)
- Financial records (including accounts, budgets, cash books etc.)
- Plans (e.g. architectural drawings, designs)
- Promotional materials (e.g. pamphlets, posters etc.)
- Visitors’ book
To donate organisation, club, association or business materials like these, please download and complete the appropriate form:
Staff will review your list and contact you to discuss the materials you are offering. If the material is unsuitable for the State Library, they may suggest other organisations that would appreciate the material.
The State Library collects ephemeral items, which are the transient documents of everyday life such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, tickets and posters. These materials can often be discarded, but provide valuable insights into our way of life, and help to tell our stories in this moment in time for future generations. Browse our Ephemera Collection Highlights to learn more about these unique collections.
During election campaigns, we specifically seek materials such as:
- How-to-vote cards
- Stickers and badges
The State Library collects moving pictorial images in any format that reflects life in WA including historical events, places, industry, social and cultural life and people. We collect key productions from the WA film industry, and we also collect private sector productions and amateur and home movie footage if they have significant Western Australian information content.
The State Library collects and preserves the oral history of Western Australia in its oral history collection. The collection consists primarily of sound recordings in both digital and analogue and may also include accompanying transcripts and images. These are structured interviews in which interviewees talk about their lives or particular events and experiences in the past.
Cultural Gifts Program
The Cultural Gifts Program encourages donations of culturally significant items from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives by offering donors the following tax incentives:
- Deduction for the market value of gifts
- Exemption from capital gains tax
- Option to apportion the deduction over a period of five income years
Donations must be accompanied by at least two valuations of the current market value of the gift, provided by approved valuers. The cost of obtaining valuations specifically for this program can also be claimed as a tax related expense.
The Cultural Gifts Program is administered through the Department of Communications and the Arts .
If you are considering making a donation to the State Library under the Cultural Gifts Program please contact the Collection Liaison Team.
Suggest a Purchase
The State Library may also make purchases of items to enhance its collections. Items for purchase may be suggested or recommended. Items are acquired through contracted suppliers which are selected through a formal Government WA tendering process. This applies to materials which are not received by Legal Deposit or Donations.
The Library welcomes suggestions for new additions to the State Library collections. All suggestions are considered in light of the Collection Development Policy.
State Library members can make a suggestion by completing the Suggest a Purchase form. To help us follow up on your suggestion, please give us as much detail as you can - including title, author, publisher, date of publication, ISBN or ISSN number and/or relevant web address where possible. Please direct any suggestions for additions to the Public Library collections, to your local public library.